Starting Microgreens

As the winter months are officially upon us, my husband’s ability to play in the dirt has been greatly inhibited.

8-20-15AndreaDannyWedding-576.jpg
“The Pout” by Magnified Joy Photography

 

I thought our 5 bucket worm-compost, our 3 Rosemary plants, 3 Aloe plants, 2 Snake plants, 1 Ponytail Palm, 1 Ficus Tree, 1 Basil plant, and 1 Dragon Palm might be enough to quench his permaculture hunger in our winter, urban setting, but that was a silly thought.

So, we are embarking on a new adventure in urban gardening.

Microgreens!

Microgreens include a wide variety of nutritious grass-like plants, grown rapidly, in shallow soil beds. While the Microgreen process can begin with sprouting seeds, they are not “sprouts”. When people sprout broccoli or alfalfa seeds, for example, the seeds are germinated and then eaten in their entirety. Microgreens, on the other hand, are grown in soil and the yield is chopped off before they have fully matured, often a month or less, after they have germinated. 

IMG_3570
First step is to sprout the seeds for a few days. Rinse 2x per day. 

You’ve most likely seen microgreens on salads, as a garnish or as a small pop of flavor in various recipes. They are often overlooked, but after doing some research, I am vowing to NEVER overlook these little delightful greens again!

As it turns out, cutting these small plants before they reach full maturity leaves them with an abundant amount of nutrients . In an article titled “Top 10 Questions about Growing Microgreens for Profit” by Craig Wallin, it states that, “According to Professor Qin Wang at the University of Maryland, microgreens are 4 to 40 fold more concentrated with nutrients. His research team tested 25 different commercially grown microgreens, and found consistently high levels of important nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, lutein and beta-carotene.”

These nutrients are not only beneficial to keeping our bodies healthy, but in high doses they can fight against disease, such as cancer and skin irregularities.

IMG_3626
After sprouting the seeds we plant them in shallow, organic soil and spray them with water every morning and every night. 

Not only are these fresh little shrubs wholesome, but they have strong and sometimes spicy flavors! Greens such as arugula, cabbage, cilantro, celery,or endive can give a natural spiced/peppery taste to foods, while sunflower seeds can provide a nutty accent, and some, like basil can be sweet. They act like herbs in their ability to flavor, and like juiced vegetables in their ability to provide nutrition.

This site offers some specific examples of which microgreens offer particular flavors and health benefits, and they explain that according to a Web MD article by Jennifer Warner, 

“Vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin E levels were highest among red cabbage, garnet amaranth, and green daikon radish micro greens. Cilantro microgreens were richest in terms of lutein and beta-carotene.”

Needless to say, when I find something that is intensely nutrient dense AND flavorful AND super affordable AND adorable, I am immediately smitten. So my husband did not have to use too much persuasion to convince me to allow microgreens into our household.

But instead of just growing these wonderful little power houses for ourselves, we decided to grow for our family, friends, local restaurants and grocery stores.

Because we have JUST started, I wanted to share our excitement and the beginning of this adventure with our readers! We will be updating you on this process soon, and once we have some experience, both growing and selling, we may do more “how to” blogs. However, if you are interested in starting microgreens, yourself, I recommend, this blog which walks through the steps pretty clearly.

We will be doing updates soon 🙂

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Starting Microgreens

  1. Nice! I’ve done a lot of sprouting, even selling them to a local bulk foods store and at a farmer’s market. But so far we haven’t tried microgreens. Might have to give it a try! Thanks for the idea! 😉

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s